Minnehaha Falls completely dry as drought continues, but help is on the way

MINNEAPOLIS — One of Minnesota’s most recognizable landmarks is now unrecognizable, as drought conditions have dried the water from Minnehaha Falls.

Portions of the Twin Cities continue to enter further into “moderate” and “severe” drought conditions, according to data compiled by the National Weather Service.

“We are well short of moisture this year, especially since June 1,” said climatologist Pete Boulay of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “This is the time of year where we’re evaporating a lot of water.”

Boulay says that every three days an inch of water is evaporating from Twin Cities lakes and rivers.

That, paired with nearly seven fewer inches of rain during the summer season compared to 2021, has Minnehaha Falls dry.

“You come here and expect to see a big gushing waterfall come out – that’s a little surprising, of course,” said Eric Wilkey, who was in town visiting the falls from Kansas City. “(I’m) a little in shock, I think.”

The Grace Bay Dam, which feeds Minnehaha Falls from Lake Minnetonka, is now closed, Boulay says.

“As each day goes by that we don’t get rain, we just continue to keep drying out,” he said.

Boulay says this weekend’s rain is a hopeful sign. He says rain averages for this time of year usually total one inch per week.

In the meantime, he says days without rain only exasperate drought conditions by evaporating more water already on the ground in the Way

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